Former Bears linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer is battling the Bears and NFL for $900,000 due him according to the collective bargaining agreement after two doctors, one the independent neurological consultant for the Bears, recommended he no longer play football according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. The Bears cut him with one year and $1.8 million remaining on his contract, according to the union, Article 45 of the collective bargaining agreement stipulates Hillenmeyer is eligible for an injury protection benefit of 50 percent of his base salary up to $1 million, meaning he should be able to collect $900,000. "We are going to remain aggressive," said DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFLPA. "There are benefits in the collective bargaining agreement that clearly apply to players who were injured during the course of football, especially when there is medical justification to indicate that it would be dangerous for them to continue to play." "It makes me sick to see (the league) claim it is driving concussion research and putting player safety first," Hillenmeyer said. "The whole system is designed to do one thing: make owners money.
The Bears terminated his contract Feb. 28, 2011, one month after the team's concussion consultant, Dr. Elizabeth Pieroth, a board certified clinical neuropsychologist, examined him and recommended he no longer play. "Hunter is a very bright young man with an unfortunate history of multiple concussions from football," Pieroth wrote in her report. "Given this history, his apparent increased susceptibility/vulnerability to concussions, increased recovery time, and position as a linebacker, it is my recommendation that he consider retirement from professional football." The Bears denied the claim even though Hillenmeyer seemingly meets the criteria in the CBA of having "been physically unable, because of a severe football injury in an NFL game or practice, to participate in all or part of his club's last game of the season of injury." The NFLPA is digging in to battle an NFL position it calls "profoundly disappointing." Smith has been in communication with Roger Goodell, but there is no sense a resolution will soon be forthcoming. "When our players are injured in the game
we are going to remain aggressive in the way in which they are able to obtain benefits," Smith said. Source: The Redzone